You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 6, 2014.


The Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12

1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod, King of Palestine. After his birth, wise men who studied the stars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. 2. They began to ask, “Where is the child who is to be King of the Jews? We saw the star that pointed to him in the East, and we came to honor him.”

3 When King Herod heard they were asking about a new king, he and everyone in Jerusalem got upset. 4 He called the Temple priests and teachers of the Jewish Law together and asked them, “Where will the Christ be born?”

5 “He will be born in Bethlehem of Judea,” they answered, “because God said through one of his prophets:

6 Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
you are not the least important among the cities of Judah.
From you, a great leader will come.
He will guide Israel like a good shepherd.'”

7 Herod called the men together in a private meeting. “When did the star first appear?” he asked them. 8 After they discussed the star, Herod sent them to Jerusalem with this request: “Go and ask everyone about the child. When you find him, come and tell me, so I can honor him, too.”

9 When they heard the king’s request, they left. Then, the star which they saw in the East led them and stood over the place Jesus was. 10 When they saw this, they were very happy. And their hearts were full of great joy. 11 When they entered the place where Jesus was, they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They bowed before Jesus, like he was a king. Then they opened their treasures and offered him three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 Later, God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. So they went home on a different road.


The Magi by Father William Saunders

The Gospel of Matthew mentions the Magi who came from the East to worship the newborn Christ child (cf. Mt 2:1-12). Exactly who the magi were, though, remains somewhat of a mystery.

St. Matthew recorded that the Magi brought three gifts, each also having a prophetic meaning: gold, the gift for a king; frankincense, the gift for a priest; and myrrh — a burial ointment, a gift for one who would die. St. Irenaeus (d. 202) in his Adversus haereses offered the following interpretation for the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh respectively: King, God and Suffering Redeemer as well as virtue, prayer and suffering.

As we celebrate Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, we too must be mindful of our duty to adore our Lord through prayer, worship and self-sacrificing good works. St. Gregory Nazianzen (d. 389) preached, “Let us remain on in adoration; and to Him, who, in order to save us, humbled Himself to such a degree of poverty as to receive our body, let us offer not only incense, gold and myrrh…, but also spiritual gifts, more sublime than those which can be seen with the eyes” (Oratio, 19).

read more

emphasis mine


January 2014